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UN downplays killing of two men by Rwandan peacekeepers in Juba

Author: Obaj Okuj | Published: Thursday, November 10, 2022

Rwandan peacekeepers serving in the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) stand guard inside their compound in the capital Juba, July 20, 2016. (FILE).

The UN mission in South Sudan has downplayed the demands for justice by the families of two young men allegedly killed by Rwandan peacekeepers in Juba three years ago.

Legge Moses Christopher and Isaac Kenyi Loburi were shot and killed on the 19th of January 2019 at around 4:PM while they were fixing water pipes within the UN base along Juba-Yei Road.

A medical report shared with Eye Radio indicated that both deceased died from massive internal bleeding caused by the gunshots.

Despite opening a criminal case against the unnamed peacekeeper, the families said the leadership of UNMISS remains silent over the matter.

Last month, South Sudan Police Spokesperson, Major General Daniel Justin said UNMISS was investigating the incident and has promised to give feedback to the South Sudan Police Service.

However, responding to a question about the case during a press conference in Juba yesterday, the head of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan said:

“In regard to the issue involving the Rwandan peacekeepers. I am a bit surprised by the question because it was raised in the media the other day and fully explained by my colleague then,” said Haysom.

“It was explained in the following way: there was an altercation that involved the Rwandan peacekeepers and two persons found on UN property,

“The altercation was the subject of a proper and complete criminal review and the law, and the letter of the law has been followed both in respect of the treatment of the people involved in the incident and in regard to the follow-up by the Rwandan authorities.”

For his part, the visiting UN Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Affairs, Jean-Pierre Lacroix instead called for accountability on aid workers and peacekeepers killed in South Sudan.

“On the killings of civilians, eight of our humanitarian colleagues were killed this year. Many more civilians were killed. In the past, we had peacekeepers killed as well, and many more humanitarian colleagues,” said Lacroix.

“There should be accountability for that. It is critical that those perpetrators will be identified and held accountable. This is also something that, as the UN, we would really want to push forward to promote.”

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